In the dry, hot summer months that are generally void of virtually any Avalanche news, I yearn for anything that will remind me the hockey season will be here again soon. Today proved I should be careful what I wish for.
I was prepared and (dare I even say it) even ready for some big roster changes this offseason, but as we slowly approached September, it looked like Colorado would be heading into the season with the same core of players. Turns out the big shake up would occur not on the bench, but behind it.
Patrick Roy has always been one to surprise us, so I suppose it shouldn't come as a shock that he resigned so suddenly. We usually expect coach changes at the end of the season, even mid-season, but in August, right as the team is gearing up for training camp? This is can't be good. The timing and circumstances of his resignation both seem to be red flags for the organization. There was clearly dissonance between the front office and the coaching staff, so much so that Roy couldn't bear it for even one more year. We all know Roy likes control — it's what makes him great — and it seems his diminishing autonomy in the organization has forced him to resign. Truthfully, I've always been slightly weary of the front office decisions. Remember when they fired Quenneville for seemingly nothing. What has he done since?
When I heard he would be our head coach, I was ecstatic because I knew that Roy's only goal would be to win. Anything less than the best would not be good enough. It is this very quality that makes me question exactly where the Avs are headed. If Roy believed that we would be true contenders, I have a hard time believing he would resign now. Is he jumping ship on a team he knows is going down?
Morale among the fan base certainly isn't high after two disappointing seasons, but there is always the excitement in August knowing there is a fresh start. To have a coach who has been the face of the franchise, and has always been vocal about defending his team, abruptly leave must leave some sort of impact on the players (Season One of Friday Night Lights anyone?).
Hopefully it is just me who feels abandoned, and the professionals handle it better than myself.
Patrick Roy was an amazing goaltender, and a strong coach who always carried himself with integrity and passion. He bestowed those qualities onto his players, and he always held them accountable and told it straight. It is with a heavy heart that we will be losing a man who brought so much conviction and passion to our city. No matter where he goes, I can't blame Roy for sticking to his instincts, for it is those same instincts that saved countless breakaways, blocked shots and saves we never thought could have been possible, and won us two Stanley Cups.
If I wasn't concerned for the upcoming season before, I sure am now, but as long as we don't bring back Joe Sacco as head coach, I think the Avs will prevail, hopefully.